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Opened in 2003 at the behest of King Abdullah, the Royal Automobile Museum sits in the heart of bustling Amman, Jordan, next to Al Hussein Parks.
The motivation for the design and construction of the museum was to honor the passion King Hussein had for cars and motorcycles. King Hussein ruled Jordan from 1956 until he died in 1999 – and during his tenure, the king earned the reputation for being a bit of a “car nut.”
Dozens of cars and motorcycles, most of which are considered vintage, pay homage to the automotive industry in Jordan. The vehicles come from the private stock of Jordanian leaders dating back to the early part of the 20th century. Numerous reviews praise the Royal Automobile Museum for presenting an impressive inventory of classic cars and motorcycles, as well as a thorough history of every vehicle preserved at the museum.
The museum presents a wide variety of rare vehicles that include the cars Hussein bin Ali brought to Amman in 1916, as well as the latest versions of the sleekest sports cars displayed at any other venue in the world. As the backdrop to the Hollywood movies The Martian (2015), the Royal Automobile Museum received the exposure the venue needed to climb near the top of the list of must see attractions in Amman.
The Royal Automobile Museum is located in the northwestern suburbs of Amman, Jordan, just north of the 8th Circle.
History and Culture
As part of the cultural scene of Amman, the Royal Automobile Museum has become a vital part of the history of the capital city of Jordan. Culturally, Amman represents one of the most liberal cities in the Middle East, emerging as a popular place for Westerners to call home in the Arab world. Rising from traditional Arab fare such as Falafel, Amman is now home to numerous French bistros and Italian trattorias. During the first decade of the new millennium, developers built large shopping malls in and around Amman to attract western expatriates to the city. And today, there are no shortage of nightclubs and shisha lounges to explore.
Things to See at the Royal Automobile Museum
Developed as a tribute to King Hussein, the museum specializes in offering visitors the chance to watch videos and see photos depicting the rich automotive industry history of the capital city. Some of rarest sports cars found in the world are a part of the museum’s extraordinary inventory of vehicles.
You also have the opportunity to see a wide variety of vintage and limited-edition vehicles, including Phantoms, Cadillacs, Aston Martins, and Mercedes Benz. The Royal Automobile Museum also has a nice collection of vintage motorcycles. In fact, the replica of the first motorcycle ever designed and manufactured in 1986 is one of the most talked about exhibits at the museum.
All told, about 60 cars and 50 motorcycles comprise the collection of vehicles on display at the museum.
As the final exhibit in the Royal Automobile Museum, several dusty vintage cars offer a cool contrast to the shiny polish and chrome of the other classic cars. And as you enter and leave, you’ll see the Mars rover Matt Damon drove in The Martian outside the front entrance. How cool is that?
The Best Time of Year to Visit the Royal Automobile Museum
Amman enjoys a busy tourist trade throughout the year. However, the summer months, when many people take vacations, is the busiest time of year for the capital city and the Royal Automobile Museum. Hotel rooms book months in advance of the summer season that runs from late May through August. Like most of Jordan, Amman sits in an arid climate, with temperatures in summer often approaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Rain is rare, which makes outdoor recreational activities a popular visitor option.
But because of its indoor vehicle displays, the Royal Automobile Museum offers a pleasant respite from the summer heat. So it’s never a bad time to stroll this one-of-a-kind attraction!
The museum closes every Tuesday, with hours of operation for all other days running from 10 AM to 7 PM.